9/30/2016

Instrumental New Age/Jazz/World Review: Lawrence Blatt-Longitudes & Latitudes

Release Date: August 9, 2016
Label: LMB Music

When I saw that Lawrence Blatt’s latest release Longitudes & Latitudes was produced by Will Ackerman it totally made sense. Ackerman is a great acoustic guitar player that I have enjoyed over the years particularly when he was running his Windham Hill label.

Right from the outset of this album I could hear Ackerman’s influence however now he is more of an influence on the production side of the house. Tom Eaton is the engineer on the album as well, a consistent partner of Ackerman.

As stated on his website Lawrence often plays in an open tuning to create a nice rhythm then adds the other instruments. It is a very effective combination. He plays electric and acoustic guitars and synthesizer (and like any good musician has many to choose from). Many of the guests appearing on the album help to make this journey complete including Ackerman and the marvelous brass of Jeff Oster. Because of the diversity offered on the album it is clearly an instrumental foray into new age, jazz and world.

The percussive elements on the track “Ima” along with various earthy tones, switch the albums path to a worldlier flavor when prior tracks were bubbling over with a definite new age/jazz flavor and inspiration. The beauty of many of the recordings I have heard this year pay tribute to Mother Earth and that is the route Lawrence took as well on several tracks. With 15 tracks there is plenty to process and it’s a beautiful thing.

“Upon Griffy Lake” carries a gorgeous melody with the equally attractive female vocals of Noah Wilding. The lady seems to call out to you from beyond as the music lets you float to your destination via the acoustic and electric guitar lines of Lawrence. He uses a intriguing and impactful combination of acoustic and electric instruments with the young lady’s voice serving as an instrument as well. It is one my favorite tracks. So much beauty and gracefulness packed into one song is hard for the mind, body and spirit to miss.

The other component I recognized on this album is the excellent restraint exercised when needed to accentuate each instrument allowing for the best compliment to each. Each track moves from strength to strength.

“Noches de Barcelona” is full of the embodiment that is Spain and the video with the track is beautiful. It was featured on our Rate The Tracks site and is provided here as well.  We have also included a preview of the album with a video and a Soundcloud stream so you can get a good idea of what this talented artist can offer.

This is 5-star recording session that is both relaxing and exciting at the same time, not an easy task to pull off. It is all done extremely well and the tastes of genres is most appealing including the mixture of them all in one single track.

Add Longitudes & Latitudes to your list one of the very best instrumental recordings of 2016. It’s not hard to do if you appreciate new age, jazz or world or all three combined, the choice is obvious so give it a good listen!

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Ima, Upon Griffy Lake, Noches de Barcelona

Tracks: 
01. Two Shades of Sunshine
02. Longitudes and Latitudes
03. A Place in Your Heart
04. Hyde Park Bench
05. Open Fields and Running Water
06. Two Steps Down the Line
07. I.M.A.
08. Morning in Beerse
09. Upon Griffy Lake
10. The Places Left Behind
11. Park Lane
12. Noches De Barcelona
13. Flying over Ellis Island
14. Slow Walk Past the Bank
15. Over the Rainbow

 


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 30, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews





The King Of The Honking Sax BIG JAY MCNEELY Returns With A Brand New Set Of Recordings!


Los Angeles, CA - Before Jimi Hendrix, before Elvis Presley, there was Big Jay McNeely honking and squealing on his saxophone, wowing audiences with a stellar, energetic live show that often found him writhing around on his back or jumping into the middle of his enthusiastic audience, all while never missing a single beat! McNeely is truly the last of a generation of blues/R&B musicians who inspired the early rock pioneers, and are still around to remind us where popular music came from. Now, McNeely has teamed with Cleopatra Records to present this special album of 5 brand new recordings plus a handful of classics from the ‘50s & ‘60s called Blowin’ Down The House - Big Jay’s Greatest & Latest. This collection will be released on the Cleopatra Blues imprint September 30 on both CD and vinyl!

Big Jay McNeely’s incredible career began in the ‘40s and saw him play with several major R&B and blues legends of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s such as Little Richard, B.B. King, Etta James and Jr. Wells. He scored his first major hit with the 1949 smash hit instrumental “Deacon’s Hop” and scored again with a R&B vocal ballad “There’s Something On Your Mind” featuring Little Sonny Warner. He pioneered the flamboyant playing style called “honking” and is widely acknowledged as one of the first musical entertainers to make showmanship an important element of the live concert experience. His music continues to be an important signifier for that early era, earning McNeely gigs at major festivals both here and abroad as well as having his music featured in the 2013 Sean Penn film Gangster Squad starring and last year’s biopic Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston. This year, Big Jay partnered with producer Jürgen Engler for a set of new recordings in his classic style such as the Motown-esque “Love Will Never Fail” and the bluesy “I’ve Been Mistreated.” These songs demonstrate that even at 89 years of age, Big Jay McNeely can still blow them all away!

Those in need of a refresher about Big Jay’s history can watch this short promotional documentary film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whAxAIR2MD4

Catch Big Jay performing live at the Record Parlour on September 24!

Track List:
1. Love Will Never Fail
2. Love Is Stronger Than Hurt
3. My Love Never Ended
4. I've Been Mistreated
5. You Don't Have To Go Home
6. Party
7. Big Jay's Hop
8. Blow Blow Blow
9. Willie The Cool Cat
10. Rock Candy
11. Nervous Man Nervous
12. Get On Up & Let's Boogie

Buy the CD: http://flyt.it/BigJayMcNeelyCD
Buy the Vinyl: http://flyt.it/BigJayMcNeelyLP
Buy the digital version: http://flyt.it/BigJayMcNeelyDig

Facebook: Cleopatra Blues https://www.facebook.com/Cleopatra-Blues-584680441701352/?fref=ts

Youtube: Cleopatra Blues

Twitter: Cleopatra Blues
https://twitter.com/cleopatrablues ;

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

9/29/2016

Concert Review: Ace Frehley and SIMO

Ace Frehley Goes Space Truckin’ At The Colonial Theater
Opening Act SIMO Impresses Capacity Crowd
September 27, 2016
Pittsfield, MA.
                            
 
If you are Kiss fan you were at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield Massachusetts on Tuesday night. To put it more succinctly, everyone there came to see Ace Frehley. He was the main talent in Kiss and everyone knows it, with the exception of some of his former band mates of course. This is my opinion and that of many others but as with anything else I am sure there are many people that would disagree.

Warm up bands can be a hit or miss proposition and in this case it was a shot that hit dead center for these ears and apparently the capacity audience. 
The band that came on to warm things up for Ace was SIMO, named after the lead guitar player and vocalist J.D. Simo.  This is a classic power trio that included the bass player Elad Shapiro and drummer Adam Abrashoff.  

Abrashoff had a minimal drum kit and what he accomplished with it was amazing. That is real talent when you take something small and make it sound so big. Shapiro is no slouch on the bass either, his fingers are a flash and he is the perfect companion to Abrashoff’s talents J.D. is a very innovative guitar player taking the nod from the blues and the psychedelic era of the 60s ala Hendrix. His voice is tremendously powerful as well.  I also heard plenty of Allman Brothers influence in their music. I could see they use vintage equipment as well to get their sound, obviously a very smart move on their behalf.


At the break I went out to meet J.D. and he confirmed the aforementioned
influences. The band hails from Nashville and they put on a great show. I also picked up their new release Let Love Show The Way on 180-gram vinyl, complete with a poster and download not to mention the retro artwork that acts as time machine (reflecting their influences).  It was priced right as well at $20.00.  I don’t think Ace could have asked for a better warm up band.


After the break the man of the hour arrived. This was going to be a great show; I could feel it in the air. Well, Ace did not disappoint.

I felt like that over energetic 17-year-old again going to see Kiss in the 70s at Springfield Civic Center. It was great to have those memories come rushing back. All you can do is smile inside when that happens. Ace has a great band to support his act and they made their way through 18 songs to rock the audience from start to finish.

Some of the highlights of the evening included the Thin Lizzy cover “Emerald,” “Parasite,” “Rock Soldiers” and an amazing version of the Kiss classic “Cold Gin,” which I thought was the best performance all night. The encore was superb as well capping off the night with “Detroit Rock City” and “Deuce.” 

I grew out of Kiss many years ago but occasionally listen to the first album and Ace’s solo work. People change, get older and some tastes do change however…once a rocker always a rocker. Seeing Ace live and hearing those songs again was a great experience and reminded of why I liked the music in the first place.

Ace is an accomplished guitar man and all of those skills were on display. Even the smoking guitar was present, which I was hoping to see again. If you want a rockin’ good time the ace in the hole, no pun intended, is catching this show live. 

There is something to be said about how this man has been underrated over the years and not given his due by critics and music industry folks alike. Ace Frehley gets my stamp of approval with no hesitation.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 29, 2016

Set List:
01. Rip It Out
02. Toys
03. Emerald
04. Parasite
05. Love Gun
06. Snow Blind
07. Sister
08. Rocket Ride
09. Bring It On Home
10. Rock Soldiers
11. Bass Solo
12. Strange Ways
13. N.Y Groove
14. 2 Young 2 Die
15. Shock Me
16. Cold Gin
Encore:
17. Detroit Rock City
18. Deuce


9/28/2016

French Music Legends Magma To Perform With The Mëtalïk Orkestra At The Olympia In Paris - February 2 & 3, 2017!


Paris, France - Bands and trends might come and go, but some of it is meant to stay. Far beyond a mere jolt to the music world or a fad phenomenon, Magma imposed themselves as early as the 1970's thanks to their unconventional and cliché-free approach to music. An unparalleled music, which is as violent as it is clever. Founded by drummer and singer Christian Vander, the band quickly set itself apart from its contemporaries through heavy and ruthless polyrhythmic beats. With a wide range of contemporary musical greats at his side, Vander remains a fine mentor from the likes of Miles Davis.

Since its reunion in 1996, the band has gone on several tours, always followed by its ever-growing and loyal fan base, and attracting an increasingly young audience! The cult band celebrated its 40th anniversary with the release of two Classical influenced bright new albums in 2009 and 2012. For their 45th anniversary, Magma is back with two new opuses respectively titled "Riah Sahiltaahk" and "Slag Tanz", as well as a vinyl reissue of their whole discography. Since 2015, the band has been on a worldwide tour called "Le Tour Sans Fin". Magma's music is timeless.

At the Olympia, Magma will be supported by the Mëtalïk Orkestra, a new creation project. The ensemble will be performing selections from their extensive catalog including Emehntehtt-Ré and Slag Tanz. The orchestra is composed by 27 CMDL students (Didier Lockwood’s music school) and from the PSPBB of Paris.

Magma in concert on February 2nd and 3rd at the Olympia in Paris.
Information and reservation: http://www.gdp.fr/fr/node/77079

Website: http://www.magmamusic.org/fr/accueil/ ;
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MAGMA-123777837633298/?fref=ts ;
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MagmaOfficiel

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

9/27/2016

Audio Fidelity Inks Licensing Deal With Will Ackerman's West River Records



Ackerman's Grammy winning "Returning" coming on 180g vinyl for the 1st time!

Camarillo, CA - Marshall Blonstein, president of Audio Fidelity is pleased to announce an agreement with Will Ackerman and his West River Records. The agreement calls for Audio Fidelity, in conjunction with West River Records, to release the first 180g vinyl pressing of Ackerman's 2005 Grammy award winning recording, "Returning: Pieces for Guitar 1970-2004." Ackerman is universally recognized as the preeminent pioneer in the new age music movement, and the founder of Windham Hill Records.

In 2004, after years of growth and introspection, Ackerman re-recorded an album of his best-known songs. A greatest hits collection of all new performances.  The playing and recording of these New Age instrumentals are sharper now than on those original Windham Hill classics and Ackerman's most popular compositions have rarely sounded as poignant.

Blonstein felt one of the elements of working with Will Ackerman that would have great appeal to Audio Fidelity's music fans were simple words Will spoke at the time of the recording about why he wanted to make the album. "Today I'm recording in my own Imaginary Road Studios in Windham County, Vermont on utterly state of the art digital equipment. It all brings me closer to what I hear as I sit alone and play; touching the sound as it literally moves through my body as well as my ears. I guess I am trying to find a sound that lets you hear what I hear."

Will's goal was to take a series of 11 favorite songs and record them for posterity in a way that reflects the emotional nuances, precision, and maturing beauty they've picked up along the road. He includes the graceful and lushly melodic "The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter," the sweet and melancholy "Anne's Song", and two peaceful early gems from 1970, "Pictures" and "Barbara's Song." Some were written as celebrations ("Unconditional"), others as elegies ("The Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit"), but all are intricate snapshots of a vastly influential musical life that keeps inventive to this day.

ALBUM TRACKS:

SIDE 1
Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter
Anne's Song
The Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit
Pictures
Hawk Circle

Side 2
Barbara's Song
Unconditional
Visiting
Processional
In a Region of Clouds
Last Day at the Beach

Will Ackerman official website: http://www.williamackerman.com/

For more information: www.audiofidelity.net

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

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